😳 How to fail
It's sad I know, so here's a cool info-graphic to ease the sadness (Failory <-- really cool, worth skimming). Jokes apart, startups fail and that's the straight truth. Here are the most common reasons: no market need, running out of money, wrong team, and wrong timing (CB Insight). Today we'll go through some stories of failures, learn from them, and don't make the same mistakes.
This is the story of how you can fail without even starting. SmarTrainingSystem, founded by three tech founders, was trying to improve the user experience in the gym using IoT and AI. What went wrong? A lot of things. Customer validation started too late and ended up targeting the wrong customers. The team was missing some skills and lost focus. They were not able to pivot so they folded before acquiring the first target.
Are you comfortable in the morgue? Check out the full autopsy here.
How can you go from 200k ARR and $20M acquisition offer to 0? That's what happened to Yottio, the “Zoom for broadcast TV". Yottio was a mobile-first tool that enabled video participation on broadcast television. The startup went through all experiences, including making $200k in revenue, spending $150k for operations, a co-founder leaving the business and a $20m acquisition offer. However, Yottio eventually ran out of cash and shut down.
Wanna know the nitty-gritty details? You can read the full autopsy here.
This is how a $20m Series B can fall apart and the next day you are closing the company. Starsky Robotics was an autonomous truck company founded in 2016. It developed trucks able to drive without a person in the cabin and it was the first company to deliver the first fully-unmanned truck to drive on a live highway. In this case, timing is to blame as the company paid the unmet promise of AI technology to be effective on a practical solution.
Curiosity over self-preservation? Let me hand over to you the full autopsy here.